.
January 15th, 2009
05:30 PM ET

Time to end “don’t ask, don’t tell”?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Obama is committed to ending the "don't ask don't tell" policy that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the military.

Should "don't ask, don't tell" be overturned?

He campaigned on this, and a spokesman reiterates it on a new video posted on the change.gov web site.

Commitment aside, the spokesman elaborated on his comments to add that the President's first priority is jump starting the economy.

Not to mention that overturning the policy requires legislation from Congress. President Clinton tried to overturn it when he took office in 1993 but opposition from military leadership prevailed.

Ret. General Colin Powell, who was the chairman of the joint chief of staffs at the time, has said Congress should review the policy because attitudes have changed since it was passed more than 15 years ago.

In an attempt to create a loophole of sorts, a bill was introduced during the last session of Congress to implement "a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation" but it never came up for a full House vote. So that bill and Obama's commitment to overturn the policy remain on the back burner, at least for now.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time to end "Don't ask, don't tell" for gays in the military?

Tune in to the Situation Room to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: US Military
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Rolman, SC

    As a Vietnam Vet, forced to service by the draft, I encountered and served proudly with Gays. They performed, bled, and died just like anyone else. I never felt threatened by their sexuality, or was concerned they wouldn't execute their duties any less effectively because they were Gay. Many were outstanding soldiers. There are always good and bad among us. Sexual choice rarely has any affect.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  2. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Jack

    Definitly Yes, I am a 61 year old veteran and knew at least 2 gay individuals in my unit. These men were very nice and never did anything that I would have considered improper with any other members of the unit. They did their job very well and were very intellegent. I didn't care and any officer who does is homophobic to an extreme and I would think should not lead soldiers in todays military.

    Dan

    January 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  3. karen-phoenix

    YES!! I'm 64, white straight but NEVER could understand this whole thing!!

    January 15, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  4. Conor in Chicago

    Some of the worlds greatest warriors were either Gay or Bisexual. See Alexander the Great. Lawrence of Arabia is another. That being said I say don't ask and let them tell if their brave enough.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  5. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I don’t know. I have no problem with gays if they are discreet enough to respect my orientation, but if the guy standing next to me in the shower is gay, I think I’d rather not know it.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  6. Susan from Idaho

    I don’t know how Israel handles this situation but we should ask. For a country of that size their military is impressive.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Gigi in Alabama

    Gays have always served in our military and done so admirably and with distinction. This is a discrimination that should end immediately.
    Macho good old boys need to realize that these men and women are just as patriotic as they are and want to serve their country.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  8. John

    It is time, but Republicans will fight it. This is where the gay community's focus should be, not on marriage. For once you've worn the uniform and borne the battle, there is no right that can be denied you. The Republicans get this, and that's why they'll fight it.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Ethel, FL

    I won't tell if you won't ask, Jack!

    January 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  10. Joel New Brighton MN

    What was that ? I didn't hear you.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  11. Sue, Great Falls

    What's it to YOU, Mr. Cafferty?

    January 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  12. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    It is shameful the way America has behaved toward our servicemen and women who are not straight. Our military leaders have publicly questioned why we don't adopt the same respectful policies as Israel, England, and other countries. It is amazing that any gay people serve in our military at all, considering the terrible lack of gratitude they get in return. When will we ever tire of shooting ourselves in both left feet?

    January 15, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  13. carson

    yes,it's time to end

    January 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Liz in Towson, MD

    Absolutely!! Why should someone be forced to conceal a large part of who they are? That's inhumanity at its worst.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  15. JR in Norfolk VA

    The United States military is the finest fighting force the world has ever seen and is rightfully entrusted with our security. The main factor in their success is the quality and spirit of the young men and women who serve. The introduction of openly declared gays and lesbians among their ranks is going to be detrimental to morale and create divisiveness and conflict through identity politics. This can only negatively impact the safety of this nation. Don't do it. Please.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Billy G in Las Vegas

    ever been aboard an aircraft carrier at sea? the enlisted men and women are packed in like sardines in their living spaces.

    I think having openly gay people in that situation could cause a serious moral problem. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” seems to have worked well and I really see no reason to change that policy.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Erik

    It should have never been put in place. I don't think munitions determine who to maim or kill based on sexual orientation. There are regulations that deal with sexual behavior in the military and that's what should be enforced. I think "don't ask, don't tell" was put in place to ease homophobic fears, but it still didn't keep homosexual men or women out of the military.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  18. erico mb33139

    It is definitively time to end the current US Military policy for gays and lesbians. As a former (USN) officer, I can attest that under my command, the arbitrary knowledge of one member being gay, did not have any direct impact on my divisions' performance or mission statement. Throughout my military career, we did loose several outstanding service men and women to the DADT policy; a heavy cost to taxpayers and training. A main problem with ending the DADT policy are the legal ramifications that would arise in cases where a partner in the (gay) relation would seek relief in a court of law.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  19. Ann from S.C.

    The "Don't ask don't tell" policy should be ended only if the military is ready and able to adopt a "Live and let live" policy that accepts gays as fellow soldiers and not objects of ridicule subject to gay bashing.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Mark in OKC

    People who are gay or lesbian work in every job in America, so why in the world can't gay or lesbians wear a uniform? G&L Cops wear uniforms, G&L FIremen wear uniforms, etc. I'll let a gay soldier defend me and my family any day of the week.

    January 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  21. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I think a bigger effort should be made to keep the people with IQ's lower than plant life and criminals out of the military, but then where would Dubya's idolizers go?

    January 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  22. Connie from Indiana

    Jack, If Barney Frank can be in public office and be an open gay , I guess if gays chose then they can service and die for their freedom and ours.How many of those who have already died have been one of the don't ask, don't tell soldiers.The greatest thing about God is that what you or anyone else does will not keep me out of Heaven, judging is way,way above my pay-grade.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  23. Jackie in Dallas

    I am SO in support of dropping this, and allowing any qualified person to serve in the US Military. We have a difficult enough time getting ANYONE to volunteer for military service; we should not turn anyone down because of sexual preference. There are already regulations in place to prevent unwanted sexual advances and to prosecute those who make them.

    And I say this as a 58-year old, straight woman who is a Vietnam Era veteran, and the daughter of a career military policeman.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  24. Bert Morgan

    Whats wrong with asking if you are not ashamed?The truth shall set you free!

    January 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  25. Hummer Girl - Florence, South Carolina

    It is not time to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Jack, because contrary to popular belief, many people do not want to acknowedge and / or accept Homosexuality. Just because the media throws Homosexuality in our faces 24/7, doesn't mean we have to accept it as "Normal". Homosexuality is a SIN and our Military have enough things to worry about. They do not need to have to openly acknowledge someone's sinful sexual orientation while fighting on the battlefield.

    We shouldn't have to acknowledge and / or accept SINFUL BEHAVIOR anywhere!!!

    January 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  26. Ray Kinserlow

    "Don't ask, don't tell" is one baby that should have never been born. As usual, America lags the rest of the world on this issue.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  27. NANCY M.- Colorado

    Absolutely! It's high time to end the bigotry connected with this question. It would go a long way to show people that gays are not from some other planet. The truth be known, gays have contributed a whole bunch more to this world than people seem to accept. I know my view of this question has changed 100 % since the 50's and 60'sl Let's get over it!!!!

    January 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  28. Terry in Hanover County

    Sexual orientation should not be a bar to military service. Discrimination is borne out of unfounded fear and prejudice. Many gay men and women have served our Country admirably while others who have never served continue to condemn these soldiers. It's time to put the 20th Century behind us and drop the stereotypes, myths, and lies. It's time for America to move into the real world of the 21st Century and grant equal rights to all Americans.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  29. Erik

    It should have never been put in place. I don’t think munitions determine who to maim or kill based on sexual orientation. There are regulations that deal with sexual behavior in the military and that’s what should be enforced. I think “don’t ask, don’t tell” was put in place to ease homophobic fears, but it still didn’t keep homosexual men or women out of the military.

    Erik
    McDonough, GA

    January 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  30. Greg, Ontario

    Not the American forces. If it's working don't fix it. If it isn't working get ready for a boat load of politically correct screaming. America has to face the fact that it is lagging behind in many areas and this little argument may be one of them.
    It's the stereotypical gay man that you see on TV that people keep tripping over. It's totally wrong but what can you do? If some officer that talked like Micheal Jackson told me to charge a position I would say "after you dear." it's wrong and it's all my fault but it's how I would feel. I think most Americans feel that way and that is the problem. You have to get rid of the misinformation and stereo types first. Then you have a problem you can easily fix.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  31. hannah, albany, ny

    Yes, end this policy! Who ELSE is going to want to spend a lifetime in the military?! Besides, following the rules outweighs sexual preference, which comes down to identity.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  32. Brett Milam

    Definitely. Especially if we want to continue progressing as a nation.

    -Brett
    Cincinnati, OH

    January 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  33. Laurie

    The policy was ridiculous in the first place . Yes of coarse it should be repealed we have already lost way too many good men and woman to this policy .

    January 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  34. Alex in Seattle

    Yes, it is about time. What qualities do they, (I'm straight), lack to serve our country? Yes, it will disrupt the good order and discipline of the military for awhile, much like the integration of Blacks did after WW II. The military will get over it much like it did last century because they are professionals. And I say this as a former US Army officer with over 11 years of active duty.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  35. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    YES, as a former member of the Air Force I have spoken to people that said they used this idea for a free ride. They entered the Military and got a first class education. They made sure they stayed in the 3 months, and then let it slip they were gay, when in fact they were not.
    They were then allowed to leave the Military with a General under Honorable Conditions Discharge owing nothing for all the thousands of dollars of schooling they just got. Then they get to apply for the GI Bill and get more education. What a rip off.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  36. Margaret in California

    What! You're gay? What a silly thing to say to someone who, like all in our military, is risking their life for us. Yes, it is about time that we come to grips with this unfounded fear of homosexuals and recognize that all our men and women in the military have the same right to be respected as human beings.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  37. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    Don't ask, don't tell should probably be discarded. If unwelcome advances are made in non combat areas, then the individual runs the risk of being reported and discharged. In combat areas, only an idiot would make unwelcome advances on somebody with a loaded weapon! Attitudes have changed (there have always been "secret" gays in the military), and with an all volunteer military, they need all the qualified personel they can get. Besides, DADT is basically encouraging illicit behavior "as long as you don't get caught! How many other areas ov behavior does that carry over into?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  38. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    It is way past time. Gays have been discriminated against for far too long.
    They have the same cares, hopes, dreams, worries and integrity
    as the rest of us. They are human beings with love for our country
    and mankind. They have been made to feel ashamed over what
    they have no control. It is time to move forward and treat them
    as the wonderful people they are, None of us are given the
    opportunity to chose our race, gender etc yet we are the only
    ones acceptable. How misguided is that?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  39. C from middle GA

    Absolutely. A person's gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc. shouldn't matter when they choose to serve in our military.

    Besides, the military doesn't seem to have a lot of choices these days...

    January 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  40. don in naples, florida

    This is a silly issue. I think it is a bad sign when Obama has already resorted to such a side issue and he hasn't even started day one. G.W. Bush attacked illegals when he was going through the ringer over the iraq war. I guess Obama has realized he won't be able to deliver any of what he campaigned on so now it is time to work on the social issues. Jack, please send this to OBAMA. WORK on the DEBT. CUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING. ELIMINATE PORK BARREL SPENDING.
    Personally nothing else matters to me anymore. I only care about the bottom line. As it stands right now, Obama's rhetoric from his campaigning doesn't seem to be adding up!!!!!!

    January 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  41. Don (Ottawa)

    Yes, but let's not make it a big deal. I would hate to see this becoming a distraction to other more important issues like the economy and reduction in defence spending.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  42. Jim, from Las Vegas

    It won't be time to do this until there is no distinction at all between male/female/gay/straight in the military. Units must be fully integrated without regard to sex or orientation in order for this to be correct. Beyond this, bans on sexual relations between troops must be removed as well to order to have a truly fair policy.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  43. william fitzwater

    In man armys homosexuals can server. As lonh as thier conduct does not represent a problem for the unit they should serve. As a christian I do not condone thier conduct but I do support the fact that homosexuals should be able to serve openly and without fear of being discharged.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  44. Annie Florida

    who cares....we have more important things to take care of.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  45. Michael "C Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Yes, it is time. As a former Veteran, and especially when you are in a shooting-match, a bullet does not discriminate against the target it seeks nor the target one seeks. If one is willing to fight and die for your country--who cares if you are straight, gay or any other orientation.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  46. Mother of a Marine

    It's past time, Jack. As the saying goes about no atheists in a foxhole, there's also no heterosexuals or homosexuals in that same foxhole. Just another soldier with a rifle who's got your back.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  47. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    Yes it is time to end it. Don't you think members of a military unit know who's gay and who isn't? No need to ask.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  48. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    Jack,

    What is the problem with having openly gay men and women in the military? Right now we have not so secret gay men and women serving and they will continue to serve either in secret or openly. Just what the heck is the military trying to prove or disprove? Everyone knows that they are there, what is the harm in letting them identify themselves if they want to. I don't get it, do you? It is definitely time to end this,
    ps When is your new book coming out?

    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    January 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  49. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    It is way past time. It was a demeaning policy to begin with that was thought up by some homophobe somewhere in Washington. I'm glad that it is coming to an end.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  50. BD, Boise, ID

    As a soilder, I fought for the right for every citizen of this nation to have the right to live, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I was willing to die to protect that fundamental principle. I did not fight so that we can discriminate against people. I did not fight so that people would have to lie about their sexuality, or be afraid to admit it. I did not fight so we could suppress a minority of good, decent people. I fought for freedom and justice. I fought for the rights of all Americans, not just heterosexuals.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  51. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    Is anyone surprised that even gay people are patriotic and want to
    serve their country? They don't join up to troll for dates. They join up
    to defend their country just like straight people do. Do you think
    heterosexuals join up so they can find a partner? Of course not! Time
    to move our thinking into the 21st century and stop acting like gay
    people are slobbering sex fiends.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  52. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    No, if the uniform is going to be made more fashionable it will have to be an inside job. Military fashion makes about as much sense as all this other stuff.

    Jack

    January 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  53. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let's be honest Jack, gays have always proudly worn the uniform. As a matter of fact, the greatest army of all time, the Spartan army, was made up of the fiercest gay and bisexual warriours in all of human history. "Don't ask, don't tell" is a big joke. When I was in the military, we all new who the gay guys were. They were the crack shots, the smartest, strongest, fastest, baddest, most buff Adonises, with perfect grooming, immaculate uniforms and 4.0 evaluations. Jeez, why would you want one of those guys in your military? They might just scare the enemy, and we can't have any of that now can we?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  54. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, when you hear about cases where highly qualified Arabic interpreters or other specialized personnel are removed from military service because of their sexual orientation, it makes my blood boil. The security of this country is more important than this. What happens when the next terrorist attack happens? Do we say, “Well at least we fired the gay guy that could have helped prevent it”? That doesn’t make sense now does it?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  55. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    I am sure that there were many gay men and women in the military before this dumb bill was passed. If they are willing to join the military and fight for our country's freedom why should they have to be singled out because their sexual orientation isn't up to other peoples standards?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  56. Annie, Atlanta

    If gays want to serve, they should serve. If they want to marry, they should marry. Either we all have the same basic rights or we jeopardize losing those rights, based on the beliefs of those currently in power (a frightening thought).

    January 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  57. Jasmine in Germany

    Yes, employers should not exercise sex or sexuality discrimination and the military is an employer. What I am more worried about is sexual harrassment, no matter what genders are involved. Those laws need to be enforced just as strictly within the military as civilian society. I'd hate to think of a 19 year old being sexually abused by his/her commanding officer and being ashamed to report it because of homosexuality. That's a crime, one's sexual orientation is not.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  58. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Doesnt make any difference whether your gay or not, if your willing to represent our military and go in harms way so be it. Remember bullets dont discriminate.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  59. George

    I had much rather be in a foxhole with a brave gay, and patriotic person, than someone who neglected his duty to serve, and was a no-show when his group went off to war. A a matter of fact I don't want to be within spitting distance of a cowardly person who wants people to think of him as being brave, and then sends others off to fight, and die in an un-needed war.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  60. WC in Kansas City MO

    It should be the end of don't ask don't tell, but sometimes it is amazing how slow the military can be in catching up to modern times. A person's sexual orientation has absolutley nothing to do with if that person will do thier job and cover thier brothers (and sisters) in arms. Nothing at all.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  61. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I don't see a problem with having openly gay men and women serving in the military as long as adequate privacy is provided in the living quarters. When I was in the Army in the late sixties, the barracks consisted of one large room full of bunks and a latrine full of naked guys sitting on a row of pots or jostling for a space in the showers - not a pleasant sight for any orientation. If quarters are provided with a private place to change and shower, it should work fine.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  62. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    I think gays want it overturned just to have it overturned. You think any will actually join?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  63. Rod from Chicago

    I believe that Barack Obama will be an attribute to this Country. That being said, I have questions about this decision, and here is my reasoning on this matter. I must admit that my reasoning goes back many years ago, when I first enlisted back in the 70’s and I believe it is just as pertinent today, as it was back then. Without going into some very troubling details, just imagine for a second, having two individual taking a shower together, when one of them has openly admitted to being affectionate towards their own Gender. The problem is not about them performing their job, but how this can create a morale problem. This matter must be addressed, before going forward on this matter Jack.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  64. Jack CArlson

    I don't understand why any of this should be mentioned.
    The problem w/gays is that everything is based on sex and that is what worries the military – and they are obviously immature people when one meets them and come to know them. Not predujiced, simply stating first hand knowlege. Responsibility is not one of their strong attributes.
    Jack Carlson
    Seattle WA

    January 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  65. Simp, AL

    Jack. . . What goes on in anybody's bedroom is there business. I'm
    not going to ask anybody anything, and I don't want them to tell me
    anything, either.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  66. Sherri (From Mills, Wy.)

    Yes. These people are heroes, every one, wether they serve in Germany, or Iraq, Paris, or Afghanistan. Would they ask you you're sexual preference before they decide to save your life? NO. So we shouldn't ask their sexual preference before asking them to possibly die for our nation. This is a no-brainer.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  67. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    With all that is broken in America, why fix what isn't broken? The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  68. David from California

    We don't want to gays to marry but surely it must be OK for them to openly die for their country. Stop the hate and stupidity and let gays and lesbians serve their country proudly and without fear.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  69. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    It was a dumb policy when it was initiated and is a dumb policy now. Time to bring the military into the modern age. Any Military officer who cannot treat all those below him the same no matter whether straight or gay does not belong in the military.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  70. Pepe, TX

    . . . Why you asking Jack?

    January 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  71. Dina from Ashland, VA

    Yes. The military has enough rules of conduct to handle any misbehavior by homosexual personnel. The real question is will the military handle misbehavior by heterosexual personnel, towards their gay comrades? Gay bashing should not be tolerated.

    January 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  72. Joe in MO

    It is long since past time to end "don't ask, don't tell." Last time I looked, gays bleed the same red blood as straights and patriotism doesn't have anything to do with your sexual preference.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  73. Doug - Dallas, TX

    If an American wants to serve his/her country and is a good competent solider, the rest is not relevant. Patriotism is not and should not be restricted by the color of your skin or your sexual orientation. You would think we would be past this petty BS by now.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  74. Cori from Colorado

    Yes, end it. People should be allowed to talk about all aspects of their lives, including loved ones, even if they are the same gender. How obsurd that a straight person can talk about their husbands/wives, but a homosexual can't talk about their loved one back home? This is outright discrimination, and should end immediately. As long as conversations are appropriate, just as we all follow at our jobs, then what's the problem?

    January 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  75. David in San Diego

    In a societal-readiness sense, it is "time to do it," but as far as legislative priorities and the need to promote cooperation with the Congress, it needs to be deferred. Obama could try to emulate an (unfortunately, bad) Bush example and use an Executive Order to suspend any action to enforce the rule even before it is changed through legislation.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  76. Allan G. Hanson Placerville, Ca.

    Not a moment too soon. It was a failure to start. It has never been proven that being gay would preclude you from serving in the military.
    There have always been gays in the military and they should continue to serve if they want.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  77. Tom in Dallas

    It was silly to being with.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  78. Marianne from West Palm Beach

    I can't believe this is even an issue. Because it's an issue in this country it just makes us look dumb around the world. Who cares if someone is gay or straight – they want to serve their country, sex has nothing to do with it.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  79. sully,,,forest park ga

    I don't see any problem, in fact the less I know they easier I will sleep. I say dont change a thing about the old way.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  80. Terrance in Hartville, MO

    Jack, the Army normally has 2 lower enlisted of the same sex sharing a room in most dormitories. Ask yourself this. Why does the Army prohibit unwed males and females from sharing the same dormitory room? Answer: The same reason they do not want a same sex male or same sex female pair sharing a room now under new proposed policy.

    Openly Straight Female + Openly Straight Male = Uncomfortable situation and or Inapropriate behaivior.

    Openly Gay + Openly Gay = Inapropriate behaivior.

    Openly Gay + Openly Straight = Uncomfortable situation.

    Unless the entire military opts to give each and every member a private room, there will be problems.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  81. Ed Reed

    The policy has already cost us 58 Arab translators at a time we were fighting two wars in Arab speaking countries. How stupid is that?

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    January 15, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  82. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    With are military fighting two wars, Afgan and Iraq, now is not the time to change this don't ask, don't tell law, they don't have time to initiate any retraining. It would be just as irresponsible to do so at this time as it was to inact such a law in the first place.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  83. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It doesn't matter if the policy is changed or not because it's been my personal experience from serving in the military that the "straights" will not accept the person that is openly gay and fights will create a new level of hate crimes towards people that openly admit that they are gay.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  84. odessa

    being gay shouldn't disqualify you for keeping your military job..if you are gay, thats your business not the military..there are too many people being very prejudice when they finds out that somebody is gay and they start beatings in the military or any other places...we must end prejudice when it comes to different racial backgrounds or sexual orientation in the military; it's just plain wrong and mean..

    January 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  85. Linda in Florida

    Absolutely and it is long overdue! This is just as wrong as it was wrong when black people could not serve in the military because they were considered inferior.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  86. Dot, Naples

    I don't ask my cat if he's gay or not. I'm sure not going to walk up to a
    marine and ask him also.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  87. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    The don't ask part is OK, and flaunting one's sexual orientation (no matter what it is) isn't a great thing to do, nonetheless one's orientation is, and should be irrelevant, and if it does come to light, should not impact one's standing in the military or elsewhere. It"s high time to end the possibility of such discrimination.

    That said, retiring this policy should be kept low key, and not get high priority. Pushing the policy cost Clinton a lot of credibility and political capital in congress early in his administration. Obama should let the non-discrimination bill go its own way in congress, and not address the issue until it arrives on his desk, and then sign it without fanfare or signing ceremonies. He must demonstrate that he is honed in on what's really important to this country: the economy, the economy, and the economy (and things that influence the economy like our military misadventure in Iraq, alternative energy, etc.)

    January 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  88. Jan Illinois

    There will be problems if they do, guaranteed. Most men can not tolerate it, it makes them agitated and sick at the thought of it. let alone it being thrown in their faces. They will try,but in certain situations, when under pressure, it's not gonna be pretty.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  89. Will from San Jose

    Anyone who is willing to sign up for the military in a time when our country is actively fighting two wars should be commended regardless of sexual orientation. The insurgents that will be shooting at them certainly won't discriminate.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  90. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    As a Vietnam,Navy veteran I can tell you that I served with a great many gays. Most of them were fine people who served with distinction and did not lust after their fellow serviceman or flaunt their sexuality. They should serve their country without being subjected to different rules. The time is long past to make the military equal in how it treats its members.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  91. WallyTurner

    Yes, for a variety of reasons. Moral and losing some much needed linguist, to mention two.
    Wally in Gonzales, LA

    January 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  92. Lois Canada

    You won't like my answer but....I have a few gay friends, and since they have made it public, talk about nothing else! Let's face it not everyone agrees with the lifestyle, and you can't force them too.....They should absolutely be able to serve, but is it necessary to know? I Don't think talk about sex belongs in any job!!

    January 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  93. JD in NH

    Absolutely. It boggles the mind that people who were fluent in Arabic were tossed out of the service due to sexual orientation at a time the nation needed them most. Homophobes need to get past the idea that just because they work next to a homosexual, that person wants to jump their bones or recruit them for the other team.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  94. John in Rohnert Park

    ANY American should be allowed to fight for their country. ANY ILLEGAL ALIEN who wants to fight for our country as a path to citizenship should be allowed to do so. Those old biased generals and admirals who can't handle it need to be replaced. We're no longer turning away anyone from the lunch counters and that needs to include the military lunch counters as well.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  95. Gigi

    Please, don't ask me about my sex life and I won't ask about yours. We have several gay family members and manage to live with them comfortable without talking about our sex lives. But if I was to be drafted please don't put me with a snorer.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  96. Ollie, Jersey

    My lips are sealed, Jack!

    January 15, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  97. Wendy Theriault, Nashua, New Hampshire

    If I had a screen name like "Hummer Girl" I'd think I'd opt to not comment on anything having to do with gay & lesbian iissues.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  98. eddie in NC

    Jack in a perfact world it would be a good thing for men and women to serve and be proud of their sexual orientation with that said after a twenty-four year career and a senior nco, this is the reality, the first man or woman who tells will be beaten to a pulp by fellow soldiers. Look how long it was before I (a black man) was treated fair, in 1967 I was called the N word so much i though that was my name.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  99. Mike, Syracuse NY

    As a Navy veteran I'd say yes end it. They already serve, just not openly. There are and will be good gay soldiers and bad, just as there are good and bad straight soldiers. However for someone who never served a day in uniform in his life (Obama) to be point man for this is the ultimate hypocrasy. It's clearly just payback for the gay vote. Let Congress take the lead.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  100. Alan

    Jack,

    I'm a Viet Nam vet. When the bullets were flying & the rockets exploding no one cared what your sexual orientation was, nor your race, religion, ethnic background or anything else. All you knew was that warrior next to you was an American & you would do anything to protect that life as he was going to do for you.

    As a combat veteran, all of our petty differences don't matter to me. Combat teaches you that.

    Alan Northvale, NJ

    January 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  101. D - Atlanta, GA

    Let's get back to the go old days when sex and sexuality were discussed behind closed doors. Sexual preference is no ones business except the two consenting adults that are indulging. Lift the policy and then let's not ask - no one tell.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  102. Terry "the hillbilly Hooser"

    Jack - let the US Military decide-their the ones that's got to live with it.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  103. Tom in Dubuque

    Jack, right now we have bigger problems in the military; how about all those gang bangers getting weapon's training and then taking it back to the streets, when they get out. Take a lesson from other countries and get over this Homophobia that makes us look silly to the rest of the world. Dubya and the DOD don't seem to have a problem lowering their recruitment standards; but they're concerned with bringing Gays into the ranks; give me a break!

    January 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  104. Jim/NC

    In my opinion, I don't believe it matters one way or the other to most Americans. I don't believe in their lifestyles, but they are part of our society. However, in my fox hole, I want Mike Tyson over Richard Simmons or Barney Frank...just my preference.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  105. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    Yes, it is too bad that they are treated like they are. I don't choose the way they do, but they are God's children and cannot be thrown aside, like the lepors were. I think if they flaunt it in public then get rid of them. I don't even believe in straight people flaunting sex in public.
    We are not animals, so whatever your sexual preference is, have some morals and keep it private.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  106. Lee in TN

    Does the bomb or the bullet ask your sexual preference before they hit and kill or maime you?

    January 15, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  107. JIM FALLBROOK CA

    My Buddy Jack Cafferty: This would not work in the lower enlisted ranks. Military separates males and females. A male gay would be like me in female barracks or quarters. . The military prohibits single males and females from sharing the same dormitory room. The reason is they don't want males and females sharing a room. Since gays thinks are attracted to their own sex, that will be very uncomfortable situation for the straight . Answer: The same reason they do not want a same sex male or same sex female pair sharing a room now under new proposed policy. if the situation came about, I would like to know how General Golin Powell would have felt sharing a room with a openly gay officer. The bottom line ist here will be serious morale problems if gays ar allowed in the military. The only solution is to build separate male/female quarters for gays. The again, maybe not. They would have origies.

    Unless the entire military opts to give each and every member a private room, there will be problems.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  108. John

    Jack: " Don"t ask, Don't tell" policy is wrong due to the changing needs of the military and the culture at large. Having commanded a battalion in peace and war time I know from experience. The biggest problem in the military about sexuality is infidelity among solders an their spouces. It causes more problems in military services than homosexuals. Oh, by the way, there are 2 soldiers who have been awarded the medal of honor who are homosexuals.

    John
    Alabama

    January 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  109. Markel Houston

    Don't ask, Don't tell should be repealed! Being homosexual is not a choice. Joining our military ranks is. Why disqualify otherwise exemplary officers, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines?

    There are far more gay and lesbian veterans than you might imagine. The vast majority of those veterans served honorably and many were decorated. I am proud to be a gay, decorated, honorably discharged veteran who served my country. I believed that it was my patriotic duty to serve my country and I am grateful to have had the experience. I was a good soldier. I wanted to re-enlist but didn't because I was gay and did not want to risk a less-than-honorable discharge.

    Gay and Lesbian men and women serve openly in the military forces of several NATO countries. There is no documented evidence that the acceptance of gay and lesbians into their forces has compromised their military readiness.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  110. Deb (Bow, NH)

    Doesn't the military have a program to give "moral waivers" to convicted felons and drug users to allow them to serve? That's ok, but being gay isn't? What distresses me is that this is even still a question that needs to be asked.

    The dedicated members of our military services pledge their lives and honor to defend the rights of US citizens – not just heterosexual US citizens. There are probably tens of thousands (or more) homosexual members of the US military at this moment in time. If the members of the armed forces can work together effectively despite differences in race or religion or gender, and are willing to take on the responsibility for protecting us and our country, shouldn't we just be grateful and honor them no matter what their sexuality?

    January 15, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  111. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let’s be honest Jack, gays have always proudly worn the uniform. As a matter of fact, the greatest army of all time, the Spartan army, was made up of the fiercest gay and bisexual warriours in all of human history. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a big joke. When I was in the military, we all knew who the gay guys were. They were the crack shots, the smartest, strongest, fastest, baddest, most buff Adonises, with perfect grooming, immaculate uniforms and 4.0 evaluations. Jeez, why would you want one of those guys in your military? They might just scare the enemy, and we can’t have any of that now can we?

    January 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  112. Conor in Chicago

    "A man should be able to do what a man wants to do. Just so long as he doesn't do it to me"

    Private Selrich in the play Biloxi Blues after finding out one of his fellow trainees at BASIC during WWII was arrested for homosexuality. That's how I'd look at it. If you get 20/20 on your rifle-range do whatever you want. If you are willing to take a grenade in the stomach to save 4 of us in the same room-do whatever you want with the same sex. But, and 99% of gay people know this and follow this rule, if I am not gay then don't bring it my way.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  113. Marie Ontario

    As far as I'm concerned any gay or lesbian person who serves in the military for a country so full of hate and bigotry needs their heads read.

    It would make more sense to me if a gay or lesbian person immigrated to a more modern country where they are recognized as everyone's equal and not some object of scorn.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  114. Michael Fermanich,Marinette,Wisconsin

    Jack; I have met many gays and lesbians in my life time and found them to be quite nice people and very respectful. Yes they seem to have a special insight for humanity. Maybe different than the rest of us imperfect humans trying to survive life with all its agendas.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  115. Sherri

    America has so many unbelievable hangups which is one of the many reasons why she's in the mess she in. We discriminated due to race, gender, sexual orientation which is mind altering to me because we all as human being bleed the same color blood, we have the same functional organs i.e heart, liver, lungs AND yet the fickleness in our rationale for this, never was morally correct. Gays are human beings just like ALL of us walking this earth, they have fought & died for America in all her ungodly wars. Shame on America that there is even such a separate distinction when it comes to Gays or ANYONE!.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  116. Chryssa

    Yep, and there should be an educational course required for any member of the military who protests it.

    Boise, ID

    January 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  117. Jack from Lombard, IL

    I want the best soldiers defending my country. I do not care who they sleep with as I am happily married.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  118. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    Just like Truman did with non-white's, a Presidential order that says, "effective immediately there shall be no discrimination or segregation," period!

    Any concerns about marriage recognition and spousal or partner benefits is a separate matter and can pretty much be decided for the time being as "No, not until all of corporate America is offering to their employees.

    January 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  119. Jay in Texas

    Absolutely ! This is a much-needed step toward achieving equal rights for ALL Americans. It's time to end second-class citizenship in this country.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  120. moe

    No! As A Christian, i don't discriminate against homosexuals, but i am not supportive of the lifestyle. The DoD as a whole should not be forced to accept (thus support) unnatural behavior. We're trading the truth for a lie, Jack....

    January 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  121. Jane (Minnesota)

    It's time for EEO/AA to extend to the military - why should the military be different than any other businesses that comply with EEO – often times it's a requirement for government contracts (it is in the industry I work in anyway).

    January 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  122. Julie in LA

    Other militaries don't find gays a problem because everyone is protected by the SAME code of conduct.

    It's a non-issue. End it.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  123. June in FL

    Jack,

    Why are men so insecure in their own masculinity that they don't want a gay man in the military?? Or in private life? When I was in the Navy many years ago, my roommate was a lesbian and I loved her as a roommate, but she did her lifestyle (in secret of course, back in the 60's) and I did mine. Our social live's never mixed. I had no problem with this arrangement because I know I am.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  124. joey yankee lake n.y.

    Obama never spent one day in military service to his country, nor does he intend to. He would not know what it is like to have to shower next to or across from someone like that. Another four years of a President who will never serve his country in the military but has plenty of ideas for those who are willing to give their lives, What a coward.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  125. TANK St. Augustine, Florida

    What is wrong with keeping your preference private? It seemed to work for many years without offending anyone.....

    January 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  126. David

    Jack,
    As an ex-service member I would hope that they get the pluse of the service members and the leadership and don't go at it like Clinton did.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  127. David

    If you end don't ask don't tell what do you go to? Most service people keep secrets. No matter what the policy I don't see a rush to enlist in the military by homosexuals just because this changes.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  128. mitchell, arkansas

    yes. along with every other form of discrimination against gays. this wouldn't even be a question if religion hadn't infested our entire government. i will mute every preacher that stands up to speak at the inauguration.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  129. Ralph Nelson

    It's okay with me as long as everybody understands that inapproprite sexual behavior between males and females, females and females, and males with males is unacceptable. In other words no holding hands in formation or screwing in the fox holes. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  130. Julie - Elizabethtown, Kentucky

    I have never understood this. What does it mean? Don't ask me if I'm gay, and I won't tell you whether I am or not? And if the "ends" what will that mean? Okay you can ask me but then I have to tell you if I'm gay or not? Can I lie? Or does it mean I have to tell the truth?

    What I don't understand is why is this question even asked in the first place. As a heterosexual person, it is as violating a question as asking me if I like it on top or on bottom. What difference does that make in how good a soldier I would be?

    January 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  131. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell is a fools approach to pacify the homophobes that will not accept the fact that “those” people they judge as “sinners” are fighting and dying to protect this country and everyone else's right of free speech. End this discrimination NOW.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  132. Gip, FL

    Jack,

    Who cares!! Alexander the Great had boyfriends too , then went home to his wife or wive's after a long battle. At divorce rate of 70% and child support putting people in jail now on a felony charge, I guess most men dont want a wife or a kid!! Younger generation also gets trained off the internet. It has always been acceptable to most guys to watch two girls have fun, but let two guys do it and its now a bad thing!! See People can have it both ways !! LOL!!!

    January 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  133. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    When was the Tailhook scandal? Sex and the military have been evolving most of my lifetime. What we will eventually have is an institution that can deal with gay people, female people and male people working together in an asexual way. Women in the military have yet to be accepted fully and treated fairly and actually, I don't think soldiers of any persuasion should be using the Armed Services as a dating service. If you can't keep your uniform zipped, then don't enlist, no matter who or what you proclaim yourself to be.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  134. L.M.,Arizona

    That's a no brainer since day one the military has had people who perfer someone of the same sex. Why put that extra amount of stress on someone that's protecting their country. For that matter why do we continue to put these people through the stress of not being able to marry,work,and in some instances not being able to live where they want.

    L.M.,Arizona

    January 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  135. Patrick in Hampstead, Maryland

    Dont ask and dont tell what? Everybody knows there are gays in the military, in congress, in your neighborhood, in your church, at CNN and possibly right in your own home. For GOD sakes we just elected a half Black President!! Lets move on, its a stupid policy. Im a father of 3, grandfather of 5, and Im not gay. But if you are and you are fighting to keep us free, you should be proud to be an American, GOD BLESS YOU!!

    January 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  136. just me!

    He who is without sin should cast the first stone. No one has the right to judge someone on the basis or sexual orientation, religion, race, skin color, etc. Isn't it strange that straight people ignore the vows of marriage and live together while gays are fighting for this right???? I personally prefer to accept a person as he is not what group he/she might belong to.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  137. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    We should be GRATEFUL that qualified people want to join the military instead of turning them away just because they happen to be born gay. As it is, the military allows high school dropouts and people with criminal records to join just to meet their recruitment goals. Stop the homophobia and let ALL qualified people serve in the military. It's PAST time to end DADT.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  138. Nancy, Tennessee

    The military is like a community of its own. In the bigger community know as the United States of America we live beside and work beside gays everyday. The military community is no different. We have to be tolerant of all the members of a community in order to have a peaceful co-existence. Whether we approve or disapprove of someone's lifestyle doesn't matter. In the end everyone has the freedom to make their own choices.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  139. Mark (Savannah, GA)

    It's well past time. When bullets fly by you they don't stop to ask you about your sexual preference.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  140. Diane/Allentown, PA

    Time to change it Jack, "Don't ask, don't care."

    I cannot believe this is an issue today. Gay or straight, who actually cares, just don't discriminate. We're all equal. People have to make a big deal about everything, gay marriage, etc. I just don't get this at all.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  141. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    It's time to end this policy, along with the bigottry and hatred that makes it neccesary to hide one's true identity.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  142. Jason, Oakland

    Leave it as is. This way there is an easy excuse if you decide you don't want to be stuck in some war. I'm surprised half of our troops haven't just said they were gay just to go home

    January 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  143. Pugas-AZ

    Yes-if gays and lesbians live togrther in the same quaters.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  144. ingrid, new york

    it is without a doubt time to end don't ask, don't tell. if men and women can serve together, so can gay men and gay women serve together. sexual orientation does not affect how we fight and how we would defend the USA.

    that being said, we need to be a little patient about all those changes we know are coming...there are so many huge issues that are troubling the usa which need to get addressed first- like the economy and the war, the situation in the middle east, etc. etc.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  145. Daniel, Indiana

    Yes, it should be ended. It is time for America to lead the way and to cease discriminating against anyone. Then, maybe, the Israelis will stop discriminating against the Palestinians, or the Sudanese to stop discriminating against those in Darfur, just to name a couple of many examples.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  146. Jenna Wade

    Is it time to end “Don’t ask, don’t tell” for gays in the military?

    I frankly don't see what a big problem it is to be gay in the military. Gays are everywhere and they are not going anywhere.

    To think that we lost Iraq War Medics and Translators because they're gay and they could have helped all of our troops is just sickening.

    Gay is the new Black in America and we have to end this discrimination!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  147. Tino

    It was time to get rid of it before it started. This is a society of sick religious heterosexual fanatics.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  148. Jackie in Dallas

    So "Hummer Girl",
    Are you going to throw out all the adulterers in the military? All the ones who take the Lord's name in vain (boy, that would empty the barracks FAST)? All the one's who covet their neighbor's 56" wide screen TV? They are all sinners, too!

    You need to remember something. Jesus told us to not judge others because if we do, WE will be judged more harshly. He sat down with prostitutes, adulterers, and tax collectors to show his tolerance. He told us to hate the sin, NOT the sinner. You show an alarming lack of knowledge of our Lord in your arrogant judgement of others.

    Beyond that, this country, and it's military, are free of a state religion and we are all free to practice our faith (or lack thereof). Just because YOUR religion says that homosexuality is a sin does not mean that MY religion thinks it is. We need to take this pseudo-religious judgmental attitude out of government, where it has no place. Hundreds of thousands of men and women over the last 300+ years have died to secure your freedom to practice your religion, and I guarantee that quite a few of them were gay. You have a funny way of being grateful for their sacrifice.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  149. Thom Richer

    Excuse, me. Do we or do we not have a Constitution? I believe that somewhere in it is stated that, "...all men are created equal" and are entitled to ALL the rights granted to the white, straight, married, single, Democrat, Republican, etc, etc, human being. If we are ever to be a true and united Democracy, in deed,a nd not just word, we must adhere to the Constitution as written for everyone no matter what. We cannot keep discriminating against citizens for this or any other elitist reasons. Marriage as we know it today is a farce. Divorce is a farce. How we measure one's patriotism is a farce. Discrimination by Americans, or lack thereof, is a farce. And morality in today's America is the biggest farce of all when it comes to judging sexual orientation. It is time to be what we profess to be...American.

    Thom
    Negaunee, MI

    January 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  150. Ted

    Gays in the military should be no problem as long as they are taught this little saying , this is my rife this is my gun one is for fighting the other is for fun.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  151. Lynn, Idaho

    Yes, It's time we became a free country who protects civil liberties, rather than just saying we are.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  152. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    Of course. Whenever I watch a report about the military not meeting recruitment goals during the "War on Terror", followed by a news story about the Army booting out Arabic translators that happen to be gay, I just want to kick in my TV screen. America cannot afford to be so childish.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  153. Don (Ottawa)

    Yes! Homophobes, get over it. It's time to grow up and focus on issues that count.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  154. Emerson in Mass.

    I guess we should ask current members of the military 2 questions:
    (1) how would you feel about sharing living quarters with someone of the opposite sex?
    (2) how would you feel about sharing living quarters with someone who is openly gay/lesbian?
    Since each case involves sharing living quarters with someone who might view you as a "sex object", I'm not sure I understand how those two issues differ.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  155. Kiran, Atlanta,GA

    Off course a big yes.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  156. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Hell yes! If a person wants to help protect our country by joining the armed services they should be able to, regardless of their sexual orientation. These are good people who want to give their best for their nation. We should be proud of them.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  157. Jackie in Dallas

    To David,

    The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule was made as an interim measure between the previous attitude that included a court martial for anyone found to be gay or lesbian who was in service to their country regardless of service record, and what should be the current attitude that your sexuality is a private issue, and unless you let it interfere with the performance of your duty or make an unwelcome sexual advance, and don't take "No" for an answer, you should be allowed to be what you are without the worry that you will be kicked out if you are found to be gay.

    A 58-year-old straight Vietnam Era woman veteran, and proud to be!

    January 15, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  158. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Yes. When the bullets start coming up-range, all concern for race, religion, sex and orientation goes out the window or fighting hole.

    January 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  159. Bill, Bristol CT

    Chris Rock put it best. "If gay people want to fight, let them fight, cause I ain't fighting!" In all seriousness, every argument against gays in the military is complete bull. Bad for morale? Please. When you're in the field, fighting an enemy, I guarantee you not one soldier is thinking, "I certainly hope the guy next to me isn't gay, because that would ruin my morale worse than dodging these bullets and bombs."

    January 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  160. Melissa

    That stupid policy should never have existed in the first place. Its time to end the hatred and discrimination.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  161. shobana sridhar florida

    Yes. They serve in the military with bravery like every ordinary soldier and shed their blood for this country. Why should they be differentiated because of their outlook and the path they follow? They should have equal rights to fame like their counterparts.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  162. Roland

    Jack,

    Homophobia is the new racism.

    It's time to put a stop to it in all forms, including allowing Lesbians/Gays to serve in the military without discrimination based on their sexual orientation. I'm sure that some of the veterans who have already given their lives in defense of our country, to defend the constitution and guard the rights that we all enjoy today (including the militant homophobes), were homosexual. Is the sacrifice of those veterans any less meaningful because they were homosexual? I don't think so.

    Roland
    St. George, UT

    January 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  163. Jackie in Dallas

    JIM FALLBROOK in CA

    I've never seen such hogwash! I've served in the military - have you? I slept in open bay barracks with 17 other women, and shared rooms with other women. One actually WAS gay. She knew I wasn't, and it never became an issue. Gays have been actively serving in our military since the first shot fired in the Revolutionary War. But between the beginning of the 1880s up until the Don't Ask, Don't Tell rule was instituted, those very people could be summarily kicked out of the military just for being gay...not for hitting on anyone, not for being indiscreet, not for any logical reason, just for being gay. It was the Victorian Age that kicked in with our Puritan roots that caused the beginnings of this whole mess, since that was when the first sodomy laws came into play and became a part of the military code of justice. Then, if you WERE gay, you could be blackmailed because it WAS illegal, and therefore were a security risk, leading to your court martial.

    Learn the facts. Openly gay men have been in our military for generations, and fought and died just as straight ones have.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  164. Todd E. Mashlan, a/BSG

    It is past time to end DADT.

    US military forces have been serving alongside allied forces that have openly gay and lesbian members for quite some time. I have yet to hear of any negative impact from this.

    Furthermore, gay and lesbian Americans have been serving silently for years (some say ever since the Revolutionary War!). Prejudice is not the problem of gays and lesbians, but the problem of those who hold the prejudice.

    This was the case when Truman integrated the services and when Carter allowed the service academies to go co-ed. It is well nigh time for the last bastion of discrimination to be lifted from our forces.

    Todd, a/BSG
    Chicago

    January 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  165. Dorothy from Lonoke, AR

    If a body is blown to pieces by a bomb, does the sexual orientation of the remains show? People who can serve in our military competently ought to be allowed to do so without having their orientations hanging over their heads.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  166. Gerry In Toronto

    In a fire fight, I don't think an enemy chooses whether he shoots at a straight or gay, female or male, black, white, oriental or American Indian. He just wants to kill who he aims at.

    That being the case, all armed service personal should be treated with honor and respect by the country they fight and die for. The very least a country can do is treat their soldiers like the enemy does-all the same.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  167. Constance - Seattle

    Get a grip. There is nothing wrong with gays or lesbians. They just prefer something different than us. They are usually smarter than the average bear and no one should have issue with them. Just get over yourself. The're are good and bad like teh rest of us. Homophobes make me sick.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  168. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Well, lets see. We cannot discriminate because of sex, age, disibablity or sexual orientation. Oh thats right, the military doesn't have to obey these rules. And whats wrong with this picture???

    January 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  169. Dee

    Wow, some of the things people are saying on here is quite apalling. They don't want people looking at them in the shower? That's not going to happen. When you're at war and you're fighting, the last thing you're thinking about is who you want to hook up with. When a commander asks a guy to shoot an enemy, the gay guy isn't going to be like "I can't, he's really cute." If people want to serve, they should be able to regardless of sexual orientation.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  170. Brady

    Yes, it's time to end the military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." There is really no reason for this policy other than to discriminate against homosexuals, and it would be good to boost the military's numbers.

    -Brady from Columbus, Ohio

    January 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  171. dan h

    Don't tell don't ask. If you join our military and want to serve, you don't need the military to scrutinize your sexual choices. I am not in favor of the gay lifestyle but I wont judge a person who loves our country and wants to serve. When lawyers get involved in the sexual preferences of citizens, who may or may not feel discriminated againt when they want to be a an asset to our great nation the world must be spinning the wrong way.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  172. Davonne in Easton Pennsylvania

    Indeed it is time to end this foolish policy. I'm not a gay male, but I understand that everyone has his or her own characteristics. If I was in the Military, I wouldn't have a problem serving along side a gay man. If you've got a uniform that bares the proud symbol of America, then let's go protect our country, our friends and our families together. No Homo.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  173. Shane Conley, Newport News, VA

    Honestly, regardless of the fact that the Obama administration wants to get rid of it now, I don't think it will happen too quickly. There is I'm sure still quite a bit of controversy about the subject, and if it is eliminated, this will start a whole new wave of movement in the gay marriage situation. Personally, I don't think it really is a big issue. Homosexuals are allowed in the military, they just aren't allowed to proclaim it. There are good points on both sides of the argument, and this policy brings in a neutrality that for the most part eliminates any problems. This doesn't seem like an issue that should be at the forefront of the incoming administration.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  174. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    To the best of my knowledge the current policy is SAM (Statement, Action, Marriage) which means that no one can be thrown out unless they come out. What bothers me is that the people who want this policy overturned have no experience with the military and have no idea how it will affect morale among the ranks. Being former military, I can tell you this much. I would rather go into an open bay shower "thinking" that the guy next to me is gay, rather than knowing it to be a fact.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  175. Ken in NC

    YES

    January 15, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  176. Gina; from Houston, Texas

    Leave the gays alone! Because of their volunteer service, and that of all mititary personnel, many of the rest of us/our kids don't have to get drafted any more.

    I'm getting tired of the religious rhetoric that they are "unnatural" and all the rest of that nonsense. My religious response to that is, we are ALL God's children, and "whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that, you do uinto me". That always seems to be forgotten by tose who would complain about gays in the military.

    Everyone in the military puts his/her life on the line for all of us, even for the bigots. I repeat: Leave the gays alone!

    January 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  177. Jim from Chicago

    Yes, it is time to end this ridiculous "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. If gays can serve in the millitary, they should be able to do so openly without fear of recrimination. The currrent policy has caused hundreds of skilled but openly gay soldiers and sailors out of the service. What sense does that make, especially when we allow those with some criminal records to stay?

    January 15, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  178. Duop, Colorado

    The don’t ask don’t tell” policy is now an outdated policy and must be thrown out.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  179. Judie Williams

    Frankly, I don't give a damn re: don't ask, don't tell " policy that exists within the military.

    I am up to my chin with "special groups" being the focus of too many policy decisions. Yes, gays, & lesbians are and have served and I frankly wonder why they are permitted to do so. End the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and there will be a multitude of law suits filed that their "rights" were violated as the troops do take care of their own.

    January 15, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  180. JP

    Jack,

    The last I heard we have a totally voluntary military system and it seems to be hard to get volunteers these days. Let anyone in that wants to serve!

    January 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  181. Ian

    Jack,

    I have friends in NJ that I used to work with that are homosexual and bisexual that has served or is currently in the Armed Forces, and they can do the job just as good as a heterosexual person, so, the don't ask, don't tell thing needs to be abolished immediately. It's a form of discrimination in my view and is sickening that people should have to worry or even have to be concerned about homo/bisexual people in the Armed Forces. "Those People" are human beings too and they risk their lives so we can live and enjoy our freedom. It's just pathetic.

    – Ian
    North Bergen, NJ

    January 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm |